Plaza de Armas, Cuzco, Peru

Essential Peru

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Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 102 reviews >
Trip code: 
APD
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–18

Discover the highlights of southern Peru, from Nazca to Arequipa

A spectacular journey through Peru's varied landscape encompassing coastal desert, snow-capped Andean peaks, the high altiplano and lush cloud forest. The most famous sites are all visited including the mysterious Nazca Lines, awe-inspiring Machu Picchu in its incredible mountaintop setting, Lake Titicaca, where the night is spent in an island homestay, and the remarkable 3000m deep Colca Canyon. On the way we encounter traditional culture, condors, llamas, and a warm welcome from the Peruvian people.

The 18 June 2018 departure coincides with Inti Raymi Festival in Cuzco. Translated as 'Festival of the Sun' it is the most important of all Andean festivals; during this time Cuzco is filled with colourful processions and other festivities include traditional dances and even animal sacrifice. An extra day in Cuzco has been added to this departure to enjoy the festival – for full details on this itinerary, search for trip code APDA.

Highlights

  • Iconic Machu Picchu by train with guided tour
  • Homestay on traditional Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca
  • Colca Canyon and its soaring condors
  • Beautiful colonial city of Arequipa and the Santa Catalina Convent
  • Drive deep into the Andean highlands and the Apurimac Valley

Key information

  • 13 nights en suite hotels and 1 night homestay 
  • Group normally 4 to 18, plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Time spent at altitude
  • Travel by internal flight, train, boat and private bus
  • Several long drives and early starts

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Lima
to
Lima
  • Day 1

    Start Lima.

    Those travelling on the group flights and those who have booked a transfer through Exodus will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in the Miraflores district of Lima. Your leader may give a short welcome briefing upon arrival to the hotel, or they may decide to wait until the following day when everyone is feeling rested after a good night’s sleep.
    Hotel El Tambo 1, or similar (Standard Hotel)

  • Day 2

    Drive south along the coast and sail to the Ballestas Islands, home to the highest concentration of marine birds in the world; overnight in Ica.

    We set off very early this morning (around 5.30am) and drive south from Lima until we reach the port of Paracas (4-5 hours drive). Here we take a boat to the Ballestas Islands, a national park that contains one of the highest concentrations of marine birds in the world. There are sea lions, numerous species of birds and the Paracas Candelabra, a curious pre-Inca design on the hillside, only recognisable from the sea. The boat trip lasts around 2 hours, and once we're back on dry land we drive for around an hour to Ica, in the heart of Peru's wine-growing region.

    At the Huacachina oasis just outside Ica there are high sand dunes where we may have time to try 'sand-surfing' and ride in dune buggies (optional).
    Hotel Vila Jazmin, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    On to Nazca; see the Nazca lines; optional scenic flight.

    We drive to Nazca, arriving in the afternoon with time to visit the viewing platforms close to the Nazca Lines. These are one of the world's great archaeological mysteries, consisting of enormous drawings and patterns etched in the desert sand. For those who wish, there is usually time to take a scenic flight over Nazca Lines (additional cost), weather permitting.
    Casa Andina Hotel, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Turn inland from coastal desert, climbing high into the Andes.

    We turn inland from the coastal desert today, climbing high into the Andes on today's long (10-12 hrs) but spectacular drive. Vicuñas (a smaller wild relative of the llama) can be seen along this road, as this area is Peru's largest vicuña reserve. This region has only recently become easily accessible to tourists due to an upgrade of the Abancay/Chalhuanca road. The altitude here can make physical exertion difficult, so it is recommended to rest in the evening. We overnight a couple of hours before Abancay on the road to Cuzco.
    Tampumayu Hotel, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Drive to Cuzco (3400m) visiting Inca sites on the way.

    We set off towards Cuzco this morning, stopping to visit the unique Inca Saywiti stone and Tarawasi ruins. The glaciated summits of the Vilcabamba Mountain range and the descent into the Apurimac River valley demonstrate the dramatic contrasts of the Andes Mountains, and we should expect stunning scenery throughout today's 7-8 hour drive.

    It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude (3,400m).
    Inkarri Hotel, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Free day to explore Cuzco.

    Today has been left free for exploring Cuzco, one of South America's most beautiful cities. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people watching, and the Koricancha Sun Temple located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery are worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.

    Outside the town are more Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. A combined entrance fee for these sites and many others is recommended - please see the Optional Exursion section below for prices. Sightseeing excursions to places outside Cuzco, including the Sacred Valley of the Incas, are also available. Please ask your tour leader.
    Inkarri Hotel, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Train to Aguas Calientes; tour of Machu Picchu.

    For most people the highlight of the trip is the visit by train to the greatest ruin in the world, the lost city of Machu Picchu. This is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world, in a mountain setting of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records of it, so Machu Picchu remains a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.

    We have an early morning transfer (around 05.30am) to Ollantaytambo train station. The railway line follows the Urabamba River Valley to Aguas Calientes (the town below Machu Picchu) and then we take a short bus ride up the winding road to the ruins. Your leader will give you a two/three hour guided tour of the ruins and afterwards there will be free time to explore at your leisure. There are some spectacular walks around the site that you may wish to do, including following the path to the Inca Drawbridge or even up to the Sun Gate for that iconic view of the ruins.
    Inti Punku El Tambo, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free morning or optional second visit to Machu Picchu; afternoon return to Cuzco by train and by road.

    A free morning to enjoy the hot springs and buzz of this little town in the jungle below the ruins - or for those who want to explore more of Machu Picchu, there is the option to return for sunrise; much the most peaceful time of day to appreciate the site.

    In the afternoon we board the train back to Ollantaytambo and then continue by minibus to Cuzco, arriving in the late evening.
    Inkarri Hotel, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Free day for optional excursions.

    A final chance to enjoy the sights and shopping of this beautiful city. If you fancy something more active then there is an array of optional activities available from Cuzco that your leader can organise. These include paddle-boarding on a lake, mountain biking, or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.
    Inkarri Hotel, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Drive to Lake Titicaca (3800m), with stops en route; boat to Amantani Island for homestay.

    Today we travel for 8-10 hours along the Vilcanota River and onto the altiplano, the high plains separating the Andes from the jungle. Although it is quite a long drive, it is interesting and often spectacular. There are scheduled stops at interesting sites to help break up the day and we will get to appreciate the immensity of the Andean landscapes. This afternoon we arrive at the shores of Lake Titicaca (3800m) and board a boat for our trip to Amantani Island. Hiking around the island offers great views across the lake, whilst the night spent with a local family offers fantastic cultural insight into lives very different to our own. (A packed lunch is included today).
    Amantani Island homestay (Basic Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Explore the island; afternoon boat to Puno visiting the floating reed islands.

    We explore the island in the morning before boarding our boat for the three-hour journey to Puno on the lakeshore. On the way, we visit the Uros Indians, who live on islands of floating reeds and, save for a few modest concessions to the modern world, still live as their ancestors would have done centuries ago.
    Casona Plaza Hotel, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Drive across the altiplano to Colca Canyon.

    Today we head off across the altiplano again. This time we cross to the south west, heading back towards the coast to the high Colca Canyon (5-6 hours' drive). En route we have opportunities to see vicuñas and possibly flamingos before descending into what is considered to be the second deepest canyon in the Americas (the deepest, the Cotahuasi Canyon, is also in Peru). There is time in the evening for a visit to the hot springs near the main town of Chivay - a warming pleasure after the chill of Lake Titicaca.
    Pozo del Cielo, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Morning condor viewing; afternoon drive past huge volcanoes to the 'White City' of Arequipa (2350m).

    An early start to view condors soaring on the morning drafts rising out of the canyon. Extensive terraces, stunning colonial churches, and burial tombs are viewed before we ascend out of the canyon on our way to Arequipa, known as the 'White City' due to the pale volcanic stone used to construct many of its colonial buildings. The picturesque city enjoys a year-round pleasant climate and is surrounded by 6000m volcanoes, including the near-perfect cone of El Misti.
    Ensueño Hotel, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Morning visit Santa Catalina Convent; afternoon fly to Lima.

    In the morning we visit the huge and serene convent of Santa Catalina. Built in 1580 and only opened to the outside world in the 1970s, it offers a rare insight into the lives led by the nuns and has changed little through the centuries. There are still around 20 nuns living in the northern corner of the complex. In the afternoon or evening we fly to Lima where will transfer to our hotel in Miraflores.
    Hotel El Tambo 1, or similar (Standard Hotel)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Lima.

    There is time today for optional tours of Lima including visits to the Gold Museum and tours of the historic downtown before we are transferred to the airport in the afternoon for the overnight flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Amazon Rainforest extension (from Lima)

Code: XPL

Easily accessible via a short flight to Puerto Maldonado from Lima, the Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and home to an astonishing array of wildlife, as well as countless plant species. Spending three nights at a lodge in the incredibly rich Tambopata Reserve, we use motorised canoes to explore its lakes and rivers, and follow jungle trails to discover its dense forests. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Essential Info

Visas

Peru

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.

Vaccinations

Peru

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in Peru. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner (at the homestay) are included.

The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink but often your leader will offer to buy large containers of drinking water that you can refill a bottle from for a nominal price. This usually works out cheaper and is more responsible than buying plastic water bottles.

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dish, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably we can not guarantee that wheat/gluten free products will be available for breakfast in all locations - if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food from home.

Where lunch and dinner is not included we'll visit a variety of local cafes and restaurants.

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), Alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Weather

Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate. The coastal desert including Lima, is generally dry but cloudy through most of the year. The exception is January to March when the skies are clear and the temperatures rise.

In Cuzco and the Andes, April to November is the dry season; during these months the sky is generally bright and clear with strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud rolling up from the Amazon basin, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! During the dry season temperatures at night can dip to around the freezing mark (and sometimes below!), particularly around Lake Titicaca. The wrather chart shows only average temperatures; daytime and night time extremes in the Andes, particularly in the dry season can be very different to these.

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the cloud forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged.

 

Cuzco

Is this trip for you?

This is a busy itinerary encompassing the main highlights of southern Peru. You should be aware that the size of Peru means that this holiday involves some long drives and early morning starts. The longest drive is between Nazca and Abancay and can take up to 12 hours. The buses used are comfortable and the scenery is outstanding. There will be several stops along the way to help break up the long journeys. The road between Nazca and Cuzco becomes increasingly winding as we climb higher into the mountains, and this, combined with the increase in altitude, may affect you if you are prone to travel sickness. 

This trip spends considerable time at altitude - please see the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for more information and advice on how to limit the effects of altitude sickness. Although we do not linger there, the maximum altitude visited on this trip is 4,910m (Patapampa Pass) which we drive over near Chivay, Colca Canyon - please ensure your travel insurance covers you up to this altitude. Our highest sleeping altitude is at Lake Titicaca which is 3,800m.

Many of the Inca sights, including Machu Picchu, are built on hillsides or on terraces and involve walking up and down steep steps or slopes. Good mobility and a reasonable level of fitness are therefore required for the sightseeing on this trip.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Homestay

13 nights hotels, all en suite, 1 night homestay with basic shared facilities.

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary however accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. Throughout this tour we stay in 3-star hotels with en suite bathroom facilities throughout, with the exception of one night on Amantani Island. Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at reception.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug in heaters and spare blankets. Additionally whilst all of the hotels have a hot water supply, it can be temperamental when there is high demand.

A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, the trains might be heard from some rooms.

On Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca, the group will split up overnight to stay with local families. There will generally be a few of us in each house and we may have to share rooms en masse - single supplements do not apply for this night. The rooms are basic but clean and your beds will have sheets and plenty of blankets. There are outside toilets and washbasins. The lack of electricity or road noise (there are no roads!) and the starlit sky on clear nights makes for a truly peaceful and serene experience.

Single rooms can be booked throughout for an optional single supplement of From £375, subject to availability at the time of booking. This supplement covers single rooms throughout the trip, with the exception of the homestay on Amantani Island.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed December 2017
    Cathy Cant

    A ‘bucket list’ trip!

    This was a great trip, planned and organised to Exodus’ usual high standards, which enabled my partner and I to tick of a number of ‘bucket list’ experiences that we’d wanted to do since our ‘teens. The only downside was the number of hours spent sitting on the comfortable coach - but Peru is such a long country, and out itinerary so diverse, that there really wasn’t any alternative. And, as usual, we were able to stop and see places too small for a final destination which we would not otherwise have seen. Altogether, a good, thorough exploration of Central and southern Peru.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Oooh ... the Nazca Lines ... Machu Pichu of course ... floating islands on Lake Titicaca ... the food ...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Daniel Torres was an excellent tour leader - possibly our best Exodus leader yet. Coming from Lima, he thoroughly understood our problems with altitude, yet his own altitude problems never once impacted on his care and attention to detail. A lovely man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not underestimate the variable effects of altitude! I was short of breath (especially at night) and experienced disrupted sleep and a complete loss of appetite. At very high altitudes (during brief coach stops) I felt as though I was standing on the deck of a ship - move too fast and I was swaying. My partner also suffered disrupted sleep, but wasn’t nearly as breathless and his appetite was undiminished. We saw the Nazca lines from a small aircraft (an optional extra which the guide arranged) - expensive, but worth it. But we were all very glad to get off the plane - cramped, of course, but did the pilot really need to bank so enthusiastically?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dany, our tour leader, was a real foodie, and took us to some marvellous restaurants. When we went off on our own we also found some great places - good food seems to be easy to find all over Peru. Warning: Peruvians apparently eat their main meal at lunchtime - and portions are gargantuan! We prefer to eat in the evening - when portions are still massive. But pretty reasonable prices - expect to pay around £10 for a main course. Wine is expensive, but Cusquena dorado beer is usually reasonable.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Barry Hunter

    Wonderful

    So much to see and enjoy. The landscape is awesome and the itinerary excellent. All of the places we visited were memorable, from Macchu Pichu to Lake Titicaca (great homestay, so friendly) to Cusco to the condor viewing.....plus many more wonderful places. Always wanted to see the Nasca lines and this was one of the few tours we could find that included it. The weather was largely kind to us so I would say it is a good month to go. We also enjoyed some really great eating experiences - thanks to our Tour Leader 'foodie' , Danny. We really could not fault anything. The hotels were good and well located, the (sometimes long) journeys were broken up by regular stops along the way and there was some dramatic scenery to enjoy. We largely coped with the altitude but be aware that it does affect a number of people in some way. Finally, our Tour Leader was excellent, probably the best we've ever had. All in all a fabulous tour, one not to be missed !!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Has to be Macchu Pichu !!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Mark Bottomley

    Essential Peru

    A comprehensive tour of the best cities in Peru, a lot of travelling but well worth it

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There was something everywhere we visited from Condors and other wildlife to historical sites and remains

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Exodus recruit local people who can offer a unique insight to the country, our group leader was struggling a couple of days but sourced a replacement guide who took his place so we didn't miss anything

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long drives and early starts but the pay back is getting to see a lot of Peru in a short time

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Try the local cuisine whilst there as it is varied but not all of it is as authentic as you might first think on some excursions
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Pauline Bowdery

    Essential Peru

    A fabulous trip, everything you imagine and perhaps more. The trip notes are accurate and yes there are a couple of very long travel days but the views and huge expanse of Peru and the Anders make these pass quite quickly. Don't miss the optional tour of the Sacred Valley, oddly enough this was as thrilling as Machupicchu for me. Yes the early starts can be a bit of a killer but if you have done these trips before you know this comes with the territory. Altitude and coach journeys make you take naps so you soon catch up. Don't under estimate the need to keep on drinking water and for sunscreen, layers to cope with the changes in temperature and of course a very good camera. Don't, like me, forget to use your video when you visit Condor Valley, l should have also used my tablet. Traffic in the cities is horrendous and in Cusco you have to walk to get the coach.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The terraces created by pre and Inca people, the really do go right up into the sky and The Anders are simply jaw dropping stunning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Carlos was fantastic, follow his advice and you won't go wrong.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Layers, sunscreen, camera, don't bother with binoculars there isn't a lot of bird life and the condors, if you're lucky with the timing and weather, come so close you don't need them. Don't always reach for your camera let your eyes enjoy the majesty. Getting to and from Machu picchu is an adventure in itself, lots of waiting for the buses. After entering the Machu picchu site there is no toilet or opportunity to get water. I don't think it is worth the cost to go back on the free morning but the museum just outside the town is worth a visit.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Viv Morris

    Essential Peri

    Thoroughly enjoyable trip. Felt like 4 weeks rather than 2 as we did so much. Very long days, on the coach 5.30 to 7 am starts, but most people slept on the coach, and meant we made the most of the holiday. Beautiful scenery. Tour guide announced it was an adventure not a holiday, and it was. Very varied.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Machu Picchu without a doubt. Amazing place. Lake Titicaca a close second. Beautiful, friendly people. Everything at a slower pace, probably due to the altitude!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very knowledgeable, very caring, particularly over the altitude question. Made us feel we were in safe hands.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The altitude is no joke! If you suffer from motion sickness, like I do, you may suffer. Even the travel pills which usually keep me okay on these trips didn’t help and I was very sick for the day of long driving (10-12 hours ), and the boat trip on Lake Titicaca. But having said that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss the trip, it was well worth it, and the upside was I was given the front seat of the coach for the rest of the trip! There were only 2 nights I missed as had to sleep it off. In the trip notes it says explore the island when on Lake Titicaca. By this it means walk at altitude from 3,800 to 4,100 straight up to the top of the island! Beautiful views,but at that altitude the less fit members of the party were not able to do it and we had 3 hours allowed to go up and come down again.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Best way to see Peru. Very varied trip. Beautiful, stunning scenery, lovely old towns, with some amazing sights like Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Ura people and the Condors at Colca Canyon and walking there.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Sandra Burton

    Essential Peru & Rainforest

    Amazing trip, visited so many iconic sites and saw wonderful things. Best adventure yet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Machu Picchu. It was all I'd ever imagined. The ingenuity of the Inca is astounding, from their astrology to their amazing architecture. Walked the site for 6 hours, didn't want to leave.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Diana was extremely informative, her organisational skills were outstanding and her level of care for group members was over and above that required of a group leader. Exceptional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to fit a lot into the time with some very early starts. It's worth it. If going to the Rainforest don't take bright clothes as the colours can frighten wildlife and also take shorts & vests if going in the dry season.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have liked a little more time in Aguas Caliente to go to Machu Picchu again and also to go to the Rainbow Mountains from Cuzco but understand that would require extra days on the holiday which may not be possible for most people.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Nicola Peers

    There is more to Peru than Machu Picchu

    You'll see amazing and varied scenery on this trip, from islands in the Pacific to barren desert, high mountains, the flat altiplano, lush jungle, lake Titicaca, deep canyons, extinct, dormant and live volcanoes, and bustling cities. Colourful clothing and hats as varied as the landscape, and delicious food. Long bus journeys but comfortable with plenty of stops and stunning scenery. Lots of optional trips mean there is time for independent exploration if you prefer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lake Titicaca - both the homestay and the visit to the Uros Islands. The people were welcoming and keen to share their way of life, so different to ours.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was excellent. She took great care of us all, was very professional and organised, and always ready to help. She was also extremely knowledgeable and clearly has a genuine interest in the history of her country. Thank you Diana!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink plenty of water and coca tea to help with the altitude. Stay as long as possible at Machu Picchu and watch the chinchillas emerge as the crowds leave. Learn a few words of Spanish - it shows willing and English is not widely spoken.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We enjoyed exploring on our own in Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Arequipa and Lima. We felt safe everywhere and ate well even when choosing restaurants ourselves.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Lynne Stewart

    Essential Peru

    This is a fantastic, if tiring, trip. Peru is a stunning country and a must-see. I had my breath taken away on countless occasions by the scenery and I feel privileged to have experienced such a diverse and interesting country and people. Don't hesitate to do this trip, but do be aware that it is a packed itinerary and don't underestimate the relentless early mornings!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Michu Picchu was awe inspiring and enchanting, it surpassed any expectations I had, just amazing. The homestay on Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca was fantastic, our 'mum' was wonderful and cooked us the most delicious dinner and breakfast. She was so lovely to be around and chat to even with the language barrier. In addition, I had the best (and only!) good night's sleep there. The Nazca Lines were amazing, we didn't manage a flight over them due to fog, but seeing them from the tower was still great. Cuzco and Arequipa are both wonderful cities to explore and had a very comfortable feel when walking around them. The hot springs in Chivay are worth doing, very relaxing and fun. Seeing wildlife (penguins, sea lions, pelicans, flamingos, vicuñas, llamas, alpaca, condors) along the way was fascinating, and what can I say about the scenery throughout the whole journey... just magnificent!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Diana was very good. She was extremely organised, efficient and knowledgable. She made sure the trip went smoothly and she was proud to show and teach us about her country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take Peruvian Sols with you if possible, or if you take US dollars or Euros then change a decent amount at the airport in Lima as you don't get to a money exchange for 3 days due to the itinerary. I was advised to change just $30-40 at the airport, but this was insufficient and the advice was inaccurate apparently due to the tour now starting on a Friday. Many ATMs charged 18 sols for withdrawing cash, look for BCP as apparently they don't charge. Take clothes for warm and cold weather, it really was necessary. In one day you can need hats and gloves in the morning, shorts and t-shirts at lunchtime, and then back on with the woolies in the evening! Although the bus journeys sound long they were in fact very comfortable with a toilet on board and lots of stops. The altitude did effect most people but only for short periods and it was manageable. Be aware if you have high blood pressure as the altitude can affect that. As well as drinking water to prevent dehydration, drinking electrolytes is important as too much water flushes those out. But the guide was experienced in dealing with any symptoms of altitude and gave good advice. Be prepared for early starts pretty much every day, leaving at 7am was a lie in!! There were a couple of mornings free for a more relaxing morning. I took a few useful souvenirs (shopping bag, soap, pencils) from home for my homestay mum and she was delighted. You can buy items such as candles, pasta, salt etc from the market there though if you don't take with you. The optional excursions were all worth doing. Try to stay awake on the bus so as not to miss the outstanding scenery!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it! Peru is wonderful and this trip packs in so many amazing experiences and sights. Some of which you couldn't do without going through a company such as this. ... you may need a holiday after the holiday though!
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Ann Fisher

    Ann Fisher

    I knew about the long coach journeys and early starts - but I did find the travel more tiring than I expected .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Flying over the Nazca Lines was amazing Also going to the floating reed islands on lake Titicaca and watching The Condors flying in the Colca Canyon

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Diana was an excellent tour leader- first aider, kitchen assistant - she did everything she could to make the trip go smoothly

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Really think if the really long and frequent travel days are right for you

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Despite the long travel days, this was an interesting and varied trip
  • Reviewed April 2017
    Lorna Baker

    Amazing Gringo Adventure

    Utterly eyeball blowing. So much to see you do not want to miss a thing The scenery is stunning. I did not realise Peru was so diverse. From massive sand dunes and dry desert to impenetrable cloud forest. Yes there were long drives and really early starts but how else can you experience the variety of sights and activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Obviously Machu Picchu does not disappoint and the island stay is enlightening but sand boarding was so fun and I was impressed by the Nazca lines.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Aleks was great. He loves his country is knowledgeable and took really great care of us. We ate every evening as a group being taken to different restaurants.It makes the whole experience enriching.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do the optional excursions such as sand buggies, sacred valley and star gazing. We opted not to fly over Nazca lines as view from tower was good and I was worried about air sickness but those who did it loved it.The high altitude does slow you down so be prepared for taking longer to get anywhere. The sungate walk is a must at Machu Picchu and stay til chucking out time as you have the site to yourself. Meals were cheaper than I expected so we did not spend as much as I had budgeted for,which was great. It was cold in Cusco and on Lake Titicaca especially at night so warm clothes needed. Trip notes are accurate so take their advice.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just enjoy. After this trip you can say you have seen the best and most of Peru.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

 

Trip Extension: If you would like to visit the Amazon Rainforest it is possible to extend your trip. For more details please refer to the Trip Notes or call our Sales team, who will be happy to assist you.

 

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

 

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Call us on +91 80 4213 6106